January 16, 2012

Coast Guard rescues sailor off Cape Hatteras

The Coast Guard rescued a 57-year-old man from a 28-foot sailboat sinking 58 miles east of Cape Hatteras on Sunday, Jan. 15.

The GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders at approximately 3 p.m. after a personal locator beacon registered to the sailing vessel The Answer started broadcasting a distress signal.

Sector North Carolina dispatched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to locate the distressed vessel and render assistance.

The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene and hoisted the man from the sailboat before taking him to Air Station Elizabeth City.  Upon arrival, the man was transported via emergency medical services to Albemarle Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and released.

"Emergency beacons are an important piece of safety equipment," said Captain Anthony Popiel, the commanding officer of Sector North Carolina. "The Coast Guard strongly urges all mariners to carry an EPIRB aboard their vessel, especially when they are offshore and out of marine radio range."

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